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Cab-hailing apps get OK in NYC

NEW YORK — New York City’s experiment with taxi-hailing smartphone apps got a green light Tuesday from an appeals court.

The state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division said the city can continue a yearlong test of ‘‘e-hail’’ services, one of several recent changes to the taxi network in a city known for its yellow cabs.

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The test ‘‘was properly adopted’’ and allowable under city laws, the court said to cheers from the city administration.

‘‘New York City has always been a taxi-hailing town, and we’re pleased to be able to offer passengers more than one way to accomplish that,’’ city Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said in a statement.

A lawyer for e-hail opponents didn’t immediately return a call about the ruling, which upheld a lower court decision.

Traditionally, the city’s roughly 13,000 yellow cabs have been prohibited from taking prearranged rides.

But the taxi commission allowed the e-hail experiment in December, saying that the city shouldn’t turn its back on new taxi technology.

Car service owners sued. They said that the project was unfair because they rely on prearranged fares and that it was too broad to qualify as a test, among other arguments.

With the appeals court’s OK, a few companies started offering the service while the appeal played out.

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